Unfortunately for the Hawks, the first two quarters was all the time the Cavs needed to shake off nine days of rust, as Cleveland's modest five-point lead at halftime exploded into a 27-point lead by the final buzzer.
Cavs Lead 1-0 | Next Game: Thursday @ Cleveland, 7 PM ET
Josh Smith deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Hawks in the game in the first half, scoring 17 points in the first two quarters. Unfortunately, he scored just five points the rest of the way, and neither he nor anyone else on Atlanta's roster had any luck corralling LeBron James, who finished with 34 points, 10 boards and four steals without ever appearing to even exert himself.
Joe Johnson, perhaps the NBA's most anonymous star, failed to make any kind of serious impact on this game, finishing with 11 points on 5-10 shooting, tallying five turnovers to counter six assists. Sadly for the Hawks, Johnson's disappearing act has been a recurring trend in the postseason -- he's averaged just 12.5 points in Atlanta's four losses in the postseason, compared to 20.2 points in four wins. The Hawks just aren't good enough to beat the Cavs if Johnson, their most dangerous option and the second-highest paid player on the roster, can't even attempt more than 10 shots.
Flip Murray helped pick up the slack for Johnson in the past as Atlanta's secret weapon off the bench, but on Tuesday he remained a secret: he finished with just five points on 2-9 shooting, including 0-6 from beyond the arc. Perhaps Mike Woodson should consider having Johnson bunk with Murray on the road; it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Murray's gun-slinging attitude were contagious.
As for the rest of the Cavs, they did what they do: Mo Williams filled the role of LBJ's primary sidekick with 21 points (4-8 on threes) while Delonte West chipped in 13 and eight assists.